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OFFICE OF COMMISSIONER OF LABOR STATISTICS AND INSPECTION,
CITY OF JEFFERSON, January 5, 1886. Hon. John S. Marmaduke, Governor of Missouri:
SIR-I have the honor to hand you herewith the Seventh Annual Report of the work of this Bureau, as required by section 4 of an act entitled "An act to establish a Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inspection."
This Bureau has been greatly perplexed and annoyed at the difficulties encountered in the collection of statistics relating to munufacturers because of the failure of the proprietors of the greater number of manufactories to give the desired information when furnished with the proper blanks, which have been placed in their hands either by mail or by agents appointed for that purpose.
It is true that section 7 of the act creating this Bureau makes it a misdemeanor to refuse or neglect to give such information, and prescribes a penalty; but it does not prescribe the legal process by which the trials may be had ; who shall institute the proceedings, or bear the expenses incurred. In this respect the law is practically inoperative.
I would recommend that the law be amended in this particular so as to correct its manifest defects.
Again, because of the scant appropriation for the maintenance of the Bureau, it is a financial impossibility for the Commissioner to visit annually all the mines and manufacturing establishments in the State,
I would suggest as a remedy that the present law be amended so that it would be mandatory upon manufacturers to report annually to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Inspection certain statistical facts relating to their business which may be within the scope and intent of the law creating the Bureau. This amendment should also apply to all corporations doing business under the laws of Missouri by whom mechanics and other laborers are employed.
I have had less diffculty in obtaining information from the employes than from the employers. To their credit be it said, the wageworkers of the State almost unanimously seem to appreciate the importance of this Bureau as designed to give them information upon matters that vitally affect their interests, and during my brief experience in this office I have always found them ready to lend me a helping hand, and I desire here to return them my thanks.